MY FIRST POST REVISITED: Advocacy is needed for all things in life.

Wow. I just took a look back to February 2, 2011 – the very first post that happened right here.

What’s weird is that my quote of the day outside of my cubicle is from Henry David Thoreau:

photo (8)Have you ever looked back at where you started and thought about how things may have changed?

When you look back can you see certain traits and/or beliefs that have stayed rooted in everything you’ve done?

It’s kind of cool to see.  Sometimes in this crazy, busy world that has gotten even more cluttered since 2011, we get busy and keep our heads down to the grindstone that it feels as if we are just going through the motions.

This is one reason why I recommend laying out a personal mission statement or outlining your personal brand.  The professional world has changed a lot.

  • Everyone is always connected.
  • There is less FACE-TO-FACE interaction.

But some things have not changed.

  • You will be held accountable for all actions (online and off)
  • Results, results, results.

If you set yourself a core foundation of what you want to accomplish, then that can be your navigational beacon throughout your career.  My very first post was about advocating for my city of Indianapolis.  In the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to meet a multitude of great people trying to do the same.

Back to the quote above. It is good to look back every now and again to make sure you are pointed in the right direction.

How have you set a core foundation? What has worked for you? I love hearing new ideas on personal branding. Share them below!

 

Finding a Voice online – and then keeping it?

The most powerful thing about social media is that you are able to portray yourself in exactly the light that you would like to.

For pessimists – you are thinking of the Catfish out there. People pretending to be someone that they are NOT at all.

For optimists – you are thinking of the celebrities and companies showing transparency so that we can get a hint at MORE than what mainstream media tells us.

And for those of us early in our careers – this is our chance to present ourselves in a professional manner and build a personal brand.  What many experts say is that you need to find a voice. When I started my nonprofit career almost 4 years ago, I think I stated that my voice will be “expert on social media for nonprofits.”

My understanding from reading article after article was that your voice needs to remain consistent throughout all platforms so that people aren’t mixed up when they see your presence.  And this is true…

picture credit to dvirc.org
picture credit to dvirc.org

However, just like anything, it should be taken with a grain of salt.  Four years ago, I had what I thought was my “brand” or my “voice”.  Things change, though, and it is tough to KEEP that voice throughout everything.

How do you keep it?

1. Have a good mix
My difficulty was keeping my voice was the “always having to be an expert” in the back of my head.  When I decided that I would disperse personality and NON-social media messaging, I gained some response.

2. Be Yourself
Your goal may be to show your expertise or to only speak on subject matter, but those blogs and brands are a dime a dozen on the interwebs now.  You must BE YOURSELF in order to get true engagement.

3. Have Your Voice as the Foundation, not the entirety of your presence.
Your “brand” or “voice” should always be in the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t LEAD the charge with your messaging.  Your messaging should pertain to current events and trends with an echo of your voice to it.

Has anyone else experienced these growing pains when keeping up with their online presence?  I’d love to hear from others because I may WANT to be an expert, but I’m not just yet.